MAP has been recognised as among the country’s ‘most innovative and inspiring organisations working with young people’, after receiving funding of almost £80,000 to help combat youth loneliness in Great Yarmouth.
MAP is one of 22 organisations, out of over 800 which applied, to receive the funding from the £2m Youth strand of the Building Connections Fund, a partnership between government and the Co-op Foundation, focusing on young people in the most deprived areas of England and those with additional challenges.
The organisations will work together with each other, the Co-op Foundation and the government to share learning from their projects and to inform longer-term Government policies.
MAP’s project in Great Yarmouth has three elements.
• Specialist youth workers will work with young people in Great Yarmouth to raise awareness of youth loneliness, identifying what it looks and feels like, why it happens and what can be done about it.
• Young people will be offered a programme of life-coaching, mentoring and group work to address their own loneliness.
• MAP will work with other agencies in Great Yarmouth including Neighbourhoods That Work, the police, Early Help Hubs, schools and other charities to develop a ‘whole place’ approach so that there is a wider understanding of youth loneliness and a consistent approach to the way it is tackled.
Dan Mobbs, CEO of MAP said “Contrary to some public perception, young people are more likely to feel lonely and isolated that older people. And young people in deprived areas are most likely to experience the worst consequences of loneliness including increased mental health problems, long term unemployment, crime, violence and anti-social behaviour. Our project will make loneliness a higher priority locally ensuring young people, schools, doctors, police and other agencies are able to understand and respond to it, immediately and in the longer term.”